Changes in serum transforming growth factor-beta1 levels in chronic hepatitis C patients under antiviral therapy

2016 Annals of gastroenterology 29;1 (79-84)

BACKGROUND: Several cytokines including transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 have been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C. We examined the changes of TGF-beta1 serum levels and their predictive value in patients with chronic hepatitis C under antiviral therapy. METHODS: We included 84 patients with chronic hepatitis C who were treated with pegylated interferon-alpha and ribavirin between 2008 and 2009. Treatment was given for 24-48 weeks depending on HCV genotype. Serum TGF-beta1 levels were measured by an ELISA assay at baseline, at the end of therapy (EOT), and at 6 months after the EOT. Liver fibrosis was evaluated by transient elastography. RESULTS: Of the 84 patients, 76.2% achieved sustained virological response (SVR), 8.3% responded at the EOT but relapsed during post-therapy follow up (RR) and 15.5% had no response (NR). In all patients, mean TGF-beta1 levels were 16,980 pg/mL at baseline and decreased significantly at EOT (12,041 pg/mL) and at 6 months of post-treatment follow up (13,254 pg/mL) (P=0.001). In particular, mean TGF-beta1 levels decreased significantly from baseline to EOT and to six months of post-treatment follow up in patients with SVR and numerically but not significantly in patients with RR or NR. TGF-beta1 levels were not associated with the severity of liver stiffness estimated by transient elastography. CONCLUSION: Our data show that TGF-beta1 serum levels decrease significantly at the EOT and remain decreased 6 months after the EOT mostly in chronic hepatitis C patients who achieve SVR after pegylated interferon-alpha and ribavirin combination treatment.

Pubmed : 26752952